Your Company's Organizational Health: 4 Key Elements

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Organizational health is the latest buzzword in business, but what does it mean, and how can you tell if you organization is "healthy"?

There are a number of varying and conflicting definitions of organizational health, however, Patrick Lencioni, author of the book, The Advantage, which explores the topic, was one of the first thought leaders to coin the term, and considers a healthy organization as one that has minimal politics and confusion, high morale, high productivity, and low turnover. Research tells us that organizations that are healthy in these respects outperform their competitors.
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7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce

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One of the most popular topics in the workplace these days is employee happiness. Happier employees are more successful employees, and as a result, researchers are finding that happiness makes business sense. Fostering both personal and professional happiness in the workplace can help your organization become more effective.

Research points to the fact that happier employees are more productive, creative, and committed (Lyubomirsky & King, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”). Additionally, 2010 studies show that happier people tend to receive better performance evaluations and higher compensation. Happier employees are also more likely to stay at their organizations. In his book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, Shawn Anchor finds that happiness among employees and organizations gives them a competitive advantage.
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Top 4 Critical Skills Employees Need to Develop

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Top 4 Critical Skills Employees Need to Develop

In its Critical Skills Survey, the American Management Association (AMA) unveiled the four most critical workforce skills that need to be developed. Many of these skill gaps are also extremely common among the organizations we serve at ERC. Here’s an overview of the top four critical skills as well as recommendations on how to close these gaps through training and development in your organization.

1. Communication

Communication refers to the ability to convey one’s ideas orally and in writing. In surveys conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership and AMA, communication is cited as not only a critical skill needed by the workforce, and also as a critical skill needed among leaders. It was also identified as a skill in which younger workers are most likely to need development. Effective communication is expected to grow in importance over the next 10 years.

Growing employees’ communication skills involves helping them build rapport with others, practice listening strategies, use both effective verbal and non-verbal communication, give and receive feedback, orally present information to others, and write clearly.

Communication is most effectively developed through classroom training, one-on-one coaching, and on-the-job practice.
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5 Easy Ways to Boost Summer Productivity

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Summer can drain workplace productivity. Employees generally feel more sapped of work energy and motivation during the summer. In fact, studies have found that organizations can experience a lull in productivity during the summer, with one 2011 study finding that one-in-four employers think employees are less productive in the summer.

What are some easy ways that your organization can help ensure that productivity doesn't suffer this summer? Here are a couple strategies.
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9 Ways to Avoid Employee Burnout

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Are some of your employees suffering from burnout? Maybe even your best employees? Burnout is a talent issue because it is more often experienced by your top employees - those who are trying to contribute most to your organization. It can even affect your leaders. Top performers and leaders tend to be more susceptible to burnout based on their personalities, work habits, and strong desire to achieve.

Burnout occurs when employees experience physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion as a result of work. Employees who are burned out typically experience exhaustion and fatigue, emotional volatility, detachment and withdrawal, change in attitude, decreased interest and passion in their work, and difficulty performing their job effectively.
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A Toolkit for Retaining Great Employees

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Are you giving your best employees good reasons to stay at your organization? Retaining employees comes down to giving great employees a good reason to stay at your workplace over and over again, especially when they have another opportunity on the table.

Over the years, ERC has conducted a large amount of research on what makes great talent stay at their organizations and has found that retention typically boils down to four (4) key factors: relationship with the manager, challenging work/learning opportunities, a great work environment, and compensation/rewards. Based on these factors, we've developed a toolkit of checklists to help you retain great employees.
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6 Simple Ways to Boost Employee Morale

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Low employee morale can edge its way into the office from time and time, but when your workplace loses its vibrancy, lacks energy, and seems to have a noticeably different “feel” over an extended period of time, these are symptoms of an employee morale problem.

When employee morale is low, most employees don’t enjoy coming to work as much as they used to. Job dissatisfaction is more common and employees feel less connected to one another. Employees often miss the old work atmosphere and "the way things used to be." They may be absent more frequently and may not feel as invested in their work. There tends to be more workplace conflict and competition (spoken or unspoken) and less collaboration and teamwork. Eventually, the problem spirals and productivity, performance, and retention also suffer.
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Women & Leadership: How to Develop More Female Leaders

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Women & Leadership: How to Develop More Female Leaders

Not only have gender-related leadership conversations emerged lately in the media, the attraction, retention, and development of talented women has become an important issue for many employers in recent years. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the need to develop and support more female leaders in their workplace.

"We seem to be getting more and more requests lately for training and coaching programs that address the specific needs of women in the workplace," says Chris Kutsko, Director of Learning & Development at ERC. She explains, "Subjects like Assertiveness, Personal Branding, Empowerment, and Leadership for Women are topics that are getting more attention. In addition, C-Level executives are making a more conscious effort to equip their female leaders with the tools, training, and support to help them achieve higher levels within the organization."

Developing more female leaders sometimes raises challenges and questions for organizations, in terms of how they can support, train, and develop them, as their needs are often different from male leaders. Here are some suggestions.
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What Truly Motivates Employees (Besides Money)

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Leaders want motivated employees, but often believe that money is the main motivator. Misunderstanding what really motivates employees can have negative consequences when it comes to engaging employees and motivating higher performance.

For example, researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer interviewed over 600 managers and uncovered that the widespread majority of managers misunderstood what motivates employees. Managers viewed making money and receiving raises and bonuses as the primary motivators, when in fact, upon analyzing over 12,000 employee diary entries, the number one work motivator was actually emotion and not financial incentives. Positive emotions were linked to increased motivation. Meanwhile, negative emotions were linked to decreased motivation.
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Employee Engagement Definition: What it Is, What Affects It, Where Employers Lag

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Understanding the employee engagement definition is on every employer’s priority list these days. The number of companies that want to measure, track, and improve employee engagement in their workplace continues to increase – a testament to engagement’s increasing popularity.

Understanding the concept of employee engagement can be confusing for many employers since so many conflicting definitions and research exists on the topic. This article seeks to clarify what employee engagement is, what affects it, and where employers typically lag in engaging employees.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement refers to an employee’s involvement in, commitment to, and satisfaction with their work. Many people mistake employee engagement for simply employee satisfaction. Engagement measures more than just an employee opinion of how satisfied they are at work. Rather, engagement measures how emotionally connected the employee is to their work.
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